Olof Ljungström

Olof Ljungström

Head of Unit
Telephone: +46852486617
Visiting address: Annerovägen 12, 16970 Solna
Postal address: GVS Gemensamt verksamhetsstöd, GVS MHK Forskning och föremål, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • Main areas of activity:
    Investigation &
  • documentation of the KI anatomical collections
    Repatriation of human remains
    Collection and documentation of scientific apparatus, late 20th century
    Docent ("reader") in the history of science and ideas, employed by the
    Karolinska Institutet since 2005, to write the history of modern medical
    research, and to document and write the history of the institute along with
    it. In 2010 I published /Ämnessprängarna: Karolinska Institutet och
    Rockefeller Foundation 1930-1945/ (The Discipline Busters, under translation
    into English), a monograph study of a number of actors in some key decades in
    the history of the Karolinska's development into an internationally
    recognised research environment.
    My dissertation in 2002 (book 2004) at Uppsala University was entitled
    /Oscariansk antropologi /(Oscarian anthropology, i.e late 19th c.). It dealt
    with the in 1873 founded Anthropological Society in Stockholm (from 1878 the
    Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography), as an expression of late
    19th c. scientific interests in the categories of race and nation, not least
    so-called physical anthropology as a specialisation within the anatomical
    sciences. The main Swedish representative of this line of inquiry was the
    Karolinska anatomist Gustaf Retzius.
    BA Journalism 1997, Journalisthögskolan, Stockholm University
    MA History of science and ideas 1997, Uppsala University
    PhD History of science and ideas 2002, Uppsala University
    Postdoc 2004, Centre Alexandre Koyré pour l'histoire des sciences et des
    techniques, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris.


  • My work so far has spanned from 19th century anatomical science, to the
    history of biochemistry, neurophysiology and molecular biology research in
    the 20th century. At the Karolinska I have come to pay particular attention
    to the institutets role in the history of 19th century studies of race, but
    also to more general aspects of the organisation of 20th century scientific
    research, as well as the history and significance of the built environment.
    Ongoing projects include among other the externally research project on the
    project funding history of the Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF),
    as part of the society celebrating its centernary in 2019


  • Head of Unit, Central Administration, Karolinska Institutet, 2024-
  • Head of Unit, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, 2023-2026

News from KI

Events from KI